Month: October 2020

Kids at Home with MPPL Blog

El Día de los Muertos/ Day of the Dead

hanging dia de los muertos craft

El Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead is a holiday celebrated primarily in Mexico and Latin America, though there are versions in places like Ireland, India, and the Philippines. Día de los Muertos can take place over several days, with families and friends getting together to celebrate their loved ones who have died.

Traditionally, you decorate the grave of your loved one, and build them an ofrenda, or altar. This will have things like photos of them, and the things that they liked in life. It is believed that these loved ones come back to visit us on Día de los Muertos, so you also make it easier for them to find their way back, with strong smelling cempazúchitl, or marigold flowers, and luminarias. You’ll also see skeletons, many with colorful decorations, and some made out of sugar! Skeletons are usually doing things that people did in their lifetime, to remind us that death is a part of the journey, and not to take it too seriously.

Now that you know a bit about the holiday, here are two crafts you can do to celebrate!

Our version of a luminaria involves the following supplies:

  • a jar (ours is plastic, but you could also use glass)
  • a battery-operated candle
  • thin paper, like tracing paper or vellum paper
  • Markers (permanent or washable)

Measure out paper to fit inside the jar. On the paper, you can draw something. Use your creativity here; it could be skulls, skeletons, flowers, or whatever you would like. Once you are done decorating the paper, it can go into your jar. Turn on the candle, drop it into the jar, and then you are done!

paper wolf craft

Pedro Linares, a Mexican sculptor, was the creator of alebrijes, which you can see during Día de los Muertos and in movies like Coco. They are animals but with fantastical elements that you can’t see in real life. He was inspired to create these after getting sick and having a dream about a land with creatures like a donkey with butterfly wings, a rooster with bull horns, a lion with an eagle head.

To make your own alebrije, here is what you will need:

  • Colored cardstock + Pattern
  • Glue
  • Markers, colored pencils, crayons
  • Scissors
paper wolf craft
paper wolf craft

Print out the pattern and trace it onto your cardstock paper. First, fold your paper on a diagonal. (You can also do a different animal, just make sure to trace it on a fold so it will have two sides.)

Cut through both sides of paper, leaving the sides connected along the fold. Next, cut out the tail and fold it in half.

Next, decorate your animal. You can also cut out other decorations for your animal, like wings, horns, or whatever you’d like.

Star Wars Reads Month


Celebrating its ninth year, Star Wars Reads month is all about reading and learning about your favorite “galaxy far, far away.” The Star Wars Reads webpage has activity sheets, reading logs, and other fun ways to celebrate.

Create your own reading buddy by making your own Desktop Porg

paper porg craft

Supplies Needed:  

  • white copy paper or construction paper (two 8.5″x 11″ sheets) 
  • crayons, colored pencils, or markers 
  • stapler 
  • scotch tape 


  • 1. Cut one sheet of paper into two strips, making one a little wider than the other.
  • 2. On the wider piece, use a brown crayon or colored pencil to color an hourglass shape on the wider piece of white paper. There’s no exact size to this- every Porg is different!
  • 3. Roll the Porg’s body shape into a cylinder and staple the bottom. You may need to trim any edges that stick out the back.
  • 4. Color the thinner piece of white paper for the Porg’s head. Draw big eyes, nostrils, and the mouth.
  • 5. Roll your Porg head and staple it together just like you did for the body. Then staple the Porg head to the Porg body.
  • 6. Draw some basic feet and wings with your remaining paper. Color the feet orange and the wings brown. Cut them out and tape or staple them on the body.
Virtual family trivia night: Star Wars, October 23

Test your knowledge at Star Wars Family Trivia night on Friday, October 23. Presented by Baig of Tricks, this event is a Live YouTube Stream starting at 7 p.m. 

Use these links to participate at the time of the event:
YouTube Live Stream:
Baig of Tricks Interactive Trivia Event:

Visit with Children’s Author Christina Soontornvat

Today we are sharing a special booktalk to introduce you to children’s author Christina Soontornvat. We’ll meet her virtually this Wednesday at 6 p.m. and there’s still time to register! Kids can ask her questions about what it is like to be a writer, or tell her how much they like her books.

Watch this video to learn more about Christina Soontornvat’s novels for kids and her favorite things!

It’s Applesauce Season!

jar of homemade applesauce with apples in a basket

Applesauce is an easy and forgiving recipe to make. Many kinds of apples will work, and you can adjust the sugar to your liking depending on the type of apple used. 

  • Ingredients
  • 3 lbs of apples (approximately 8 medium apples total. Most apple varieties will work, such as Fuji, Johnathan, Gala, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, or a mix) 
  • 1/3 cup water or apple juice 
  • ½ cup sugar, brown sugar, or a few tablespoons honey or maple syrup (to taste) 
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon (optional) 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice  


Peel and core the apples and then slice into 2-inch pieces. In a large saucepan, combine apples, water or juice, sweetener, and cinnamon. Cover and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the apples fall apart. Add lemon juice. For chunkier applesauce, use a potato masher to smash the apples. For smoother applesauce, transfer to a food processer or use an immersion blender to puree. Taste and add more sweetener as needed.   

Apples book cover

Check out these apple books: 

Apples and Pumpkins book cover

Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell 

Apples, Apples, Apples by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace 

Apples by Ken Robbins 

Apples by Gail Gibbons  

Harper College Experience Day

little girl painting a small pumpkin

Do you know what you want to be when you grow up? Harper College is having a month-long event to give students of all ages interactive and fun learning opportunities. Maybe this will give you some ideas about what you’d like to study!

Each Wednesday in October, a new activity will be posted and is designed for 3rd-8th graders. Here are some of the things you could learn about: 

  • Build a BristleBot
  • Clouds in a Jar
  • Make a Spooky Votive
  • Predator vs. Prey

If you’re interested in participating, you can REGISTER HERE.

Kits will be available to pick up from the Mount Prospect Main Library and South Branch, among other locations. 

For now, you can do your own Nature Scavenger Hunt. When you go for a walk outside, can you find:

  • Leaves from different kinds of trees? What kind of leaf is it? 
  • Birds and other creatures? Can you make a sound like that animal? Can you move like that animal? 
  • A seed from a plant? That could look like a white dandelion, a pine cone, an acorn, or a berry. 
  • Insects? How does the insect get around (flying, crawling, jumping…)?